We’ve been brainwashed!
November 7, 2009
“In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of war interred at Korean and Chinese camps. He determined that they’d undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner’s sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied:
- Assault on identity
- Breaking point
- Compulsion to confess
- Channeling of guilt
- Releasing of guilt
- Progress and harmony”
That’s the beginning of this post and while originally intended only to make a larger point, it quickly turned into trigger material as it became obvious just how perfectly the life experience of the average female aligns with standard brainwashing techniques — techniques which are normally only used in a war zone against an enemy.
Considering that most of this post is simply reproduced from here, with equivalent substitutions, it shouldn’t have taken long to create. But it is with an ever increasing sense of horror that each replacement phrase was selected. Some of my revulsion is surely the accumulation of hearing about so many boys and men committing various terrible crimes lately — and notice how I left women completely out of that sentence! — but part is simple frustration. This world is sick, and no one wants to admit the extent of it’s malaise.
The article resumes:
“Each of these stages takes place in an environment of isolation no escape possible, meaning all “normal” healthy social reference points are unavailable, and mind-clouding techniques like sleep deprivation and malnutrition economic coercion, religious justifications, and constant threats to restrictions of bodily autonomy are typically part of the process. There is often the presence or constant threat of physical harm rape, which adds to the target’s difficulty in thinking critically and independently.
We can roughly divide the process Lifton identified into three stages: breaking down the self, introducing the possibility of salvation, and rebuilding the self.
Breaking down the self
- Assault on identity: You are not who you think you are.
This is a systematic attack on a target’s sense of self (also called her identity or ego) and her core belief system. The agent denies everything that makes the target who she is: “You are not a soldier.” “You are not a man.” “You are not defending freedom.” You are not human. You are first and foremost a genderized “woman”. You are virgin, whore, baby-factory, servant. The target is under constant attack for days, weeks or months, from the day she is born to the day she dies, to the point that she becomes exhausted, confused and disoriented. In this state, her own beliefs seem less solid never had a chance to form.
Guilt: You are bad.
While the identity crisis is setting in becoming more entrenched, the agent is simultaneously creating an overwhelming sense of guilt in the target. He repeatedly and mercilessly attacks the subject for any “sin” the target has committed, large or small. He may criticize the target for everything from the “evilness” of his beliefs inferiority of her nature to the way she eats too slowly much. The target begins to feel a general sense of shame, that everything she does is wrong. Subtle criticism comes from every direction: family, friends, news reports, film, television, radio, books, magazines, advertising; it is relentless.
Self-betrayal: Agree with me that you are bad otherwise I won’t love you.
Once the subject is disoriented and drowning in guilt, the agent forces her (either with the threat of physical harm or of continuance of the mental attack) to denounce her family, friends and peers who share the same “wrong” women’s liberation belief system that she holds. This betrayal of her own beliefs and of people other women she feels a sense of loyalty to increases the shame and loss of identity the target is already experiencing and is compounded when other women are also shaming her in the same way she is shaming them.
Breaking point: Who am I, where am I and what am I supposed to do?
With her identity in crisis destroyed, experiencing deep shame and having betrayed what she has always believed in only heard about from feminists, the target may undergo what in the lay community is referred to as a “nervous breakdown.” In psychology, “nervous breakdown” is really just a collection of severe symptoms that can indicate any number of psychological disturbances. It may involve uncontrollable sobbing denial, deep depression and general disorientation. The target may have lost her grip on reality healthy perspective and have the feeling of being completely lost and alone.When the target reaches her breaking point, her sense of self is pretty much up for grabs by the first sexist pig who comes along — she has no clear understanding of who she is or what is happening to her. At this point, the agent sets up the temptation to convert to another belief system that will save the target from her misery. Servitude will make you feel better, hon!
- Leniency: I can help you.
With the target in a state of crisis, the agent offers some small kindness or reprieve from the abuse. He may offer the target a drink of water shoulder to cry on, or take a moment to ask the target what she misses about home how he can protect her from other men. In a state of breakdown resulting from an endless psychological attack, the small kindness seems huge, and the target may experience a sense of relief and gratitude completely out of proportion to the offering, as if the agent has saved her life.
- Compulsion to confession: You can help yourself by sacrificing your authentic self for the benefit of others!
For the first time in the brainwashing process, the target is faced with the contrast between the guilt and pain of identity assault and the sudden relief of leniency. The target may feel a desire to reciprocate exceed the kindness offered to her, and at this point, the agent may offer the possibility of confession serving his needs as a means for her to relieve guilt and pain show gratitude.
- Channeling of guilt: This is why you’re in pain.
After weeks or months years of insults, confusion, breakdown and moments of leniency, the target’s guilt has lost all meaning — she’s not sure what she has done wrong, she just knows she is wrong. This creates something of a blank slate that lets the agent fill in the blanks: He can attach that guilt, that sense of “wrongness,” to whatever he wants. Constantly mention lots of studies which blame feminism for women’s unhappiness! The agent attaches the target’s guilt to the belief system the agent is trying to replace. Blame feminism! The target comes to believe it is her belief system which is the cause of her shame. Blame feminism! The contrast between old and new has been established: The old belief system is associated with psychological (and usually physical) agony; and the new belief system is associated with the possibility of escaping that agony. If women would just accept their second-class status, they’d be much happier!
- Releasing of guilt: It’s not me; it’s my beliefs.
The embattled target is relieved to learn there is an external cause of her wrongness, that it is not she herself that is inescapably bad — this means she can escape her wrongness by escaping the wrong belief system. All she has to do is denounce the people other women and institutions feminist organizations associated with that belief system, and she won’t be in pain anymore. The target has the power to release herself from wrongness by confessing to acts associated with her old belief system. Write articles describing how unhappy she used to be. With her full confessions, the target has completed her psychological rejection of her former identity. It is now up to the agent to offer the target a new one.
- Rebuilding the Self
- Progress and harmony: If you want, you can choose good.
The agent introduces a new belief system as the path to “good.” At this stage, the agent stops the abuse, offering the target physical comfort and mental calm in conjunction with the new belief system. Pornification is your liberation, sweetie! The target is made to feel that it is she who must choose between old and new, giving the target the sense that her fate is in her own hands. The target has already denounced her old belief system in response to leniency and torment, and making a “conscious choice” in favor of the contrasting belief system helps to further relieve her guilt: If she truly believes, then she really didn’t betray anyone herself or other women. The choice is not a difficult one: The new identity is safe and desirable because it is nothing like the one that led to her breakdown. Praise the target profusely for her compliance and compliment her for her “choice”.
- Final confession and rebirth: I choose good.
Contrasting the agony of the old with the peacefulness of the new, the target chooses the new identity, clinging to it like a life preserver. She rejects her old belief system and pledges allegiance to the new one that is going to make her life better. Write books on “surrendered wives” and why prostitution is good for women! At this final stage, there are often rituals or ceremonies to induct the converted target into her new community like pole dancing, bukkake and burkas. This stage has been described by some brainwashing victims as a feeling of “rebirth” empowerment.
- Progress and harmony: If you want, you can choose good.
Many psychologists believe that large-scale brainwashing — via the mass media and subliminal messages, for instance — is not possible, because the thought-reform process requires isolation and absolute dependence of the subject in order to be effective. It’s just not that easy to change a person’s core personality and belief system.”
Thus concludes the quoted article, with two dissenting caveats: It is extremely easy to brainwash a child from birth, especially if that child resides within a cult-like culture from which there is no escape. And there is no society on this earth which does not have it’s primary belief system chosen and reinforced by men. Everywhere humans live, work, and play, it is the cult of the male view which dominates.
I’ll stop there, because I can’t decide which terrible consequence to talk about next.